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Number of Businesses in New Zealand Up 24%

Number of Businesses in New Zealand Up 24 Percent from 1997

The number of non-farming businesses increased by 24 percent between February 1997 and February 2002 according to Statistics New Zealand. As at February 2002, there were 281,339 non-farming businesses with GST turnover over $30,000 per year. These businesses engaged approximately 1,468,000 full-time equivalent employees, which was an increase of 10 percent from 1997.

Small business contributed most of the increase in the number of businesses, with the number of non-employing businesses increasing from 127,774 in 1997 to 177,961 in 2002.

The property and business services industry had the largest number of enterprises in February 2002 (91,584), engaging over 193,000 full-time equivalent persons. The manufacturing industry was the largest employer with approximately 247,000 full-time equivalent persons engaged as at February 2002.

The number of businesses with 1 percent or more foreign ownership has increased by 12 percent from 6,111 in February 1997 to 6,849 in February 2002. Businesses that had 1 percent or more foreign ownership engaged approximately 296,000 full-time equivalent employees as at February 2002, up 6 percent from 1997.

The Auckland region is New Zealand's largest in terms of the number of non-farming business locations (108,789), and full-time equivalent employees (approximately 511,000). By comparison, the number of non-farming business locations in the South Island was 71,153, engaging approximately 350,000 full-time equivalent employees.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

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